Julius Caesar was assassinated by about 40 Roman senators on the "ides of March" (March 15) 44 BCE. Caesar's death resulted in a long series of civil wars that ended in the death of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire.
Painting by Jean-Leon Gerome, courtesy the Walters Art Museum

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  • On March 15, 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in Rome, Italy. Caesar was the dictator of the Roman Republic, and his assassins were Roman senators, fellow politicians who helped shape Roman policy and government.
     
    Julius Caesar was immensely popular with the people of Rome. He was a successful military leader who expanded the republic to include parts of what are now Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. Caesar was also a popular author who wrote about his travels, theories, and political views. 
     
    Many members of the Senate, a group of appointed (not elected) political leaders, resented Caesar’s popularity and increasing power. Calling themselves the “Liberators,” this group invited Caesar to a sporting event, where about 40 of them stabbed him to death. 
     
    The death of Julius Caesar ultimately had the opposite impact of what the Liberators hoped. The majority of the Roman public hated the senators for the assassination, and a long series of civil wars ensued. In the end, Caesar’s nephew Octavian emerged as Rome’s leader. He re-named himself Caesar Augustus. This was the end of the Roman Republic and the start of the Roman Empire.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    appoint Verb

    to assign to a position.

    assassin Noun

    a murderer, especially one who kills a political leader.

    civil war Noun

    conflict between groups in the same country or nation.

    dictator Noun

    person with complete control of a government.

    emerge Verb

    to develop or come into view.

    empire Noun

    group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

    ensue Verb

    to follow or come after.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    immense Adjective

    very large.

    Julius Caesar Noun

    (100 BCE-44 BCE) leader of ancient Rome.

    military Noun

    armed forces.

    policy Noun

    set of actions or rules.

    politician Noun

    person who serves as a representative of the citizens of a geographic area to the local, state, or national government.

    public Noun

    people of a community.

    republic Noun

    system of government where power rests in citizens who vote and representatives who stand for those citizens. The United States is a republic.